The IMF and the Global Economy: implications for developing countries

Date: May, 1997
ODID Working Paper No. 3
Author(s): Frances Stewart (ODID), Valpy FitzGerald (ODID)

The paper reviews the functioning of the IMF in relation to its own objectives, as laid down in the Articles of Agreement, and the needs of developing countries. It finds serious deficiences in its functioning as a global financial institution. It typically takes a country-by-country stand, and has failed to find solutions to global problems, such as the debt problem of the 1980s, or the need to coordinate national economic policies.

The IMF has not been able to deal satisfactorily with the growth and fluctuations in international financial capital flows. There have also been serious deficiences in the IMF treatment of individual developing countries, with a tendency to be excessively deflationary with harsh consequences for the poor in developing countries. The paper concludes with nine proposals for reform. An appendix provides a rough costing of these proposals.

ODID Author(s)